The number of second homes liable to pay stamp duty increased to 62,800 in the final quarter of last year, up from 56,200 in Q3 and 30,400 in Q2, suggesting that many people believe that investment in buy-to-let property is still worth pursuing.
The introduction of the 3% levy on stamp duty in April 2016 was expected to sound a death knell for buy to let property. But the fact is that many investors remain attracted by the high yields, low void periods and potential for capital appreciation that buy-to-let offers to be deterred by the introduction of the surcharge.
Instead of steering clear of the market, many buy-to-let landlords continue to add to their property portfolios, as reflected by the significant increase in the amount buy-to-let investors borrowed to invest in property towards the end of last year.
Landlords borrowed £3.2bn in November 2016, up 10% month-on-month, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said, which was the highest monthly level since the stamp duty changes on second properties were introduced last April.
The government has made £519m from the 3% surcharge on second homes in Q4 2016 – and £1.19m since Q2 2016.